When I first arrived in Madrid a year ago, I did as any good wine geek should and set off in search of my personal wine store. You know how it goes, as wine geeks we browse all the stores we can find, buy wine from all corners of town, and even peruse the ever growing online wine retail business; but we still have our store! The one that always is willing to go out of their way to help you find a special wine, or that helps you arrange a tasting. I used to be that shop. When I lived in the states my shop was the place where every customer had a name and my staff and I made sure to use it. I miss that community and I’m glad I have a little bit of it here in Madrid.
This month’s Wine Blog Wednesday, suggested by Dr. Vino wants us to explore the shops that bring us the juice, and where we “feel the love”. Reserva y Cata is the one I choose. Currently, they only have two employees, Margarita and Ezequiel, which allows you always know who to expect when you climb down the stairs into their subterranean store. You also know you’ll find something new or have a chance to taste something different. Most of the time, there is a bottle open to try; however, make sure to ask for it, and if you speak Spanish, you’ll have a trained sommelier, Margarita to banter back and forth with about the wine in question.
As far as selection, it is limited and small. When I asked the owner, Ezequiel, about his selection; he said that they focus on small producers with interesting products. Currently, they stock 300 of these intriguing labels. Along with this, they offer a small selection of incredible olive oils, some high end spirits and assorted wine accessories. For the most part, his customers are local residents, though being located near the popular night spots of Chueca has led to some tourists taking the time to stop in. When I asked him what he found interesting right now in Spanish wine, he stated that the best part of the job is finding a wine that both he and his customers can get excited about – and with the amount of wine that is currently being made on the Iberian Peninsula, he is always finding new exciting wines. Two of his favorites are Uttaris Mencia 2002 – a wine I recently reviewed here at Catavino, and Martinsancho Verdejo 2004 – one I look forward to trying.
On a final note, Ezequiel wanted to mention that wine tastings are being set up. Starting now, every Friday night you can stop in and try 3 wines either from new producers, or from various regions around Spain. The goal is to get some customer feedback before bringing in every new wine that is offered to them through the store. In addition, if you happen to be visiting Madrid or Spain, make sure to call or talk to Ezequiel about setting up visits to Bodegas in the area and longer vacations with a wine theme. Not only do they have great contacts in the wine industry, but they also know many tour companies that offer tours throughout the area, while at the same time offering some of their own.
All in all, if you have a chance to be in Madrid, and your looking for a bottle or two of a Spanish wine, check out Reserva y Cata. You may just find a wine you’ve never heard of before, from a region previously unknown to you.
Here’s a couple of wines they had opened last friday night when I stopped in.
- 2004 Bodegas Viña Vilano Ribera del Duero Joven – Spain, Castilla y León, Ribera del Duero (1/30/2006)
Deep purple in color with thick viscous legs.
Nose show’s anise, minerals, light chocolate, and candied cherries. In the mouth the tannins are strong and overall it shows a firm acidty. Flavors follow the nose with cherry, light pepper, earth, and light herbal notes. Tasty wine.
- 2004 Bodegas Viña Vilano Ribera del Duero Joven Roble – Spain, Castilla y León, Ribera del Duero (1/30/2006)
Darker color than the joven though not as intense at the core.Nose shows smokey oak, black raspberry, jammy raspberry, and light dill. Med acidity and tannins with a overall mouth drying finish. Nice flavors of raspberry, and cherry with light spice. In the end the finish is very short and somewhat uninteresting.